This is a story about the Apple Watch. It starts on Friday, June 29, 2007. Days before the iPhone debuted, the market research company Universal McCann came out with a blockbuster report proving that practically nobody in the United States would buy the iPhone.
"The simple truth," said Tom Smith, the author of the iPhone-damning report, is that "convergence [an all-in-one device] is a compromise driven by financial limitations, not aspiration. In the markets where multiple devices are affordable, the vast majority would prefer that to one device fits all."
He was right. Or, to be more precise, that was a sensible conclusion to draw from the data available.
Solid survey research suggested not only that the iPhone would fail, but also that it would fail particularly hard in the United States because our phones and cameras are good enough, already.
Percent agree: “I like the idea of having one portable device to fulfill all my needs”
That's the story you might not know. What happened next is the story you do know. Some people bought the iPhone and said "this thing is amazing." Some of those people were professional critics that you read. Some of them were friends whose iPhones you borrowed, played with, and decided it wasn't so hard to type on a screen, after all. Within a few years, the iPhone became perhaps the most successful consumer product of its generation and transformed Apple into the richest technology company in the world.